Volunteer Your Time
Thanks to all our volunteers! As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely entirely on the help and support of everyday Australians who give so generously of their money and time to help us. Did you know over 6 million Australians volunteer each year, which is over 36% of the adult population? At HeartKids we want to recognise the valuable contribution each volunteer makes by offering their time, skills and passion, continuing to demonstrate Australia’s proud culture of giving. So THANK YOU – from the bottom of our hearts!
Would You Like to Become a Volunteer?
HeartKids offers a wealth of opportunities for volunteers, from supervising Teen Camp, helping out at a fundraising event, hosting a ‘cuppa’ morning tea, supporting one of our functions, and even secretarial and office work to help our small team out. All of it is appreciated – whether your involvement is heavy or light, long term or short, and we encourage volunteers to contact their local HeartKids or call HeartKids Australia on 02 9460 7450 to learn more about us.
At the very least, your interest may generate a greater level of awareness of the prevalence of child heart disease, which is greatly appreciated.
A Volunteer’s Story – Tony Jennings
HeartKids is dear to my heart. I have a heart condition and I had a double bypass at 43. It was genetic and I learned that I had heart disease at a young age. This was a shock. Then my son, at 22 yrs, went into heart failure and we learned he had ARVC and that he was in serious trouble. There was a couple of years of him being very ill. Six years on and he is doing well. About the same time my youngest daughter Freyja was diagnosed with ARVC too, though hers was not so severe and her symptoms, though scary, were able to be coped with.
Then 19 months ago Freyja gave birth to Lilli, my second grand daughter, Lilli had a severely coarcted aortic arch, VSD, stenosis of the artic valve. She had Open Heart Surgery at three days.
This is when I learned about HeartKids, who were so supportive of my family. Lilli had seven ops/procedures including a Ross/Konno procedure in November last year. It was a hard year. I started fundraising and being involved with helping other HeartKids families. I also helped at the Teen Camp and ran a kayaking day for HeartKids families here on the Sunshine Coast recently.
HeartKids helped my family, I owe them so much. Plus I love volunteering for them, it’s a passion and calling in my life, I have even made a huge career/life change so that I can be of more benefit. I am 18 months into a Clinical Exercise Physiology degree now and hope to specialise in cardiac rehab/exercise for kids when I graduate in a few years. I will always be available to help HeartKids.
Teen Camp Volunteer – Tracey Guest
I consider it an honour and privilege to Volunteer on Heartkids Teen Camp since 2010. When I received an email about an upcoming Teen Camp in urgent need of nurses I thought why not. I was a theatre nurse and was working within the cardiac unit at the time and had worked in Prince Charles and Westmead Childrens hospitals. Even though I stopped working in the Cardiac Unit in 2011, I continue to serve and be passionate about HeartKids . The best part of volunteering is to see these Heartkids achieve things that they thought were never possible. Be accepted, belong and rise up and continue to be brave despite their conditions. For some, especially the siblings it is not a physical condition but an emotional and social condition due to sibling having to endure many hospital visits etc which can sometimes take the attention of their parents away from them. I enjoy assisting and walking alongside them and help them build a better relationship with their siblings. I hope in the future that I can continue to do my part to make a difference in this world and each person in this world would just look outside themselves and make a difference in one other person’s life – what an amazing world would it be….So begin with yourself… just do it!!!
Corporate Volunteers – Parramatta Gregory Jewellers at the Swisse Color Run
The Color Run is an event to raise awareness for the Heartkids Australia. We should think of ourselves fortunate that we could do something in return to our society. Our duties involved setting up the color section, as runners are passing through our color section we would shake the colored powder onto the runners. After the run is over we have the duty to clean & pack up the equipment’s.
With the heart and ability to return to society it is an event that everyone should participate in, a few hours of your time to do something meaningful in life helping people that is disadvantaged would make you feel good. We look forward to the next event.
The team at Parramatta Gregory Jewellers
Adult Heartkid Volunteer – Peter Kontos
The reason I chose to be a volunteer for Heartkids is because I would like to give back to Heartkids for what they have done for me. I was born with a complex congenital heart defect in simple terms, or the more difficult term – I was born with Dextrocardia, and VSD, I’ve had 3 major operations and dozen or so minor operations. I always felt like I was alone with having an heart problem, as no one at my school had one, then when I was 13 I went on my very first Heartkids Teen Camp. If it wasn’t for the Heartkids teen camp I would still have that outlook on life of being the only one with a heart problem.
So after having Heartkids helping me out with a new outlook on life for so many years, I thought that it was my turn to help other kids with similar situations so I decided I want to volunteer on the Heartkids Teen Camp 2013 as a camp champion. The role of a camp champion is someone who can act as role model for the campers and provide support and guidance.
The best part about volunteering is that I was very inspired by how we Heartkids can take things, and that we are able for a weekend forget all the medical problems, and let our hair down and enjoy! I would also say there was not single bad part to volunteering, but everything at the Heartkids Teen Camp was the best ever. In a heartbeat I would do it again and again.
Sister of a Heartkid Volunteer – Stephanie Kassimotis
I attended probably about 6 or 7 HeartKids camps as a teenager as a sister to a HeartKid. I always loved them and always looked forward to summer time because I would see all my camp friends again! As a camper I always thought that I would return as a leader so I was very excited that I could follow through on this plan this year!
The part I enjoy the most about volunteering is seeing all the kids having the opportunity to relax, have fun and make new friends. I also loved encouraging the kids to test their limits, even getting them to go a extra metre higher on the giant swing was so rewarding! I love volunteers for HeartKids teen camp, I can’t wait for next year!